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COVID-19 testing coming to a truck stop in Canada

Ontario government launches program to make it easier for truck drivers to get tested for coronavirus.

A member of the New York Army National Guard performs a COVID-19 test. (Photo: Senior Airman Sean Madden/U.S. Air National Guard via Flickr)

Drivers will soon be able to get tested for COVID-19 at a truck stop in Canada under a pilot program in Ontario that also brings free coronavirus screenings to select carrier locations and a drug and alcohol testing clinic. 

Ontario’s provincial government launched the eight-week program on Wednesday. The program aims to make it easier for truck drivers to get tested for COVID-19, particularly long-haul cross-border drivers who spend much of their time on the road in the United States.

“With this pilot project for truck drivers, we will be able to find cases faster, intervene earlier, reduce the spread and save lives,” Christine Elliott, Ontario’s minister of health and deputy premier, said in a statement.

The province launched the testing program as reported COVID-19 cases continue to fall in Ontario. Meanwhile, cross-border truck drivers continue to move freight to and from the United States., where COVID-19 cases are surging in parts of the country.

DriverCheck, a leading provider of drug and alcohol testing, is helping the province with the COVID-19 screenings. Initially, the tests will be available at the DriverCheck clinic in Kitchener beginning today. 

Truckers will be able to get tested at the Flying J truck stop in Ayr beginning July 14. 

The pilot program also includes mobile testing that will reach 10 carrier locations. The program runs through September 8.

Dr. Jonathan Davids, the medical director of DriverCheck, told FreightWaves in April that Canada’s trucking industry would benefit from more COVID-19 testing.

“If we had more widespread testing, we’d probably be better off,” Davids said.

More information on the testing is available on the DriverCheck website.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Nate Tabak.

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Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at [email protected]